Robinson Cano’s Contract: The Other Story

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While the whole baseball world was turned on it’s head Friday with the news that Robinson Cano had agreed to a 10-year $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, there is a valid gripe being tossed around.

Too much money over too long a time.

I’m going to take a very unpopular stance here. I’m going to argue against not necessarily the money per year, but the length of the contract.

But let me first say this: I understand WHY the Mariners felt they needed to do this. They have been looking for that shot in the arm, that spark plug, that one big free agent signing that would help lure others and convince the fan base that the team was serious about improving itself.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t point out just a few of the reasons why this is actually a bad idea.

The 10-year deal Cano will sign will take him through his age 41 season (like the one Raul Ibanez just completed). Are we to expect that Cano will be capable of hitting at least 29 homers at age 41? Thus topping the record Ibanez set this year?

Cano is an average hitter as well. So are we to expect that Cano – at age 40 and 41 – can hit as well as Stan Musial did at 40 (.330) or Ted Williams at 41 (.316)?

For the contract to be worth the the kind of money the Mariners are throwing at him, we should have to expect that Cano will break – or at the very least tie – records by players of that age.

How many times has a player who signed a long-term deal (7 years or longer) actually stayed relevant and productive? There have been 29 MLB contracts of 7-11 years in length.

Let’s look at them: